How to Teach Kids to Give Back
1. Teach kids to be empathetic toward others in need. Children naturally want to help others, with a little guidance and encouragement it comes easily. For example, when a child at a playground sees another child fall down, their automatic instinct is to help. Foster this instinct and lead by example. When you’re walking into a store with a food drive bin, toss in a can of soup. Offer change to a homeless man on the street or water to a stray dog. These simple yet impactful acts of giving will instill empathy in children. Also, allow them to see you do this and they will have questions. This opens up conversations about giving at a very early age.
2. Take advantage of every opportunity to give back. There are always times when someone is in need of help. When you spot that need, fulfill it. The help could be as simple as holding a door open for an elderly woman or as big as volunteering at the food bank holiday drive. Moms and Dads are a child’s first and most important role model. Let your kids see that helping others is simple and an everyday occurrence.
3. Create a list of annual charity events the whole family can be involved in. There are many organizations that allow whole family involvement and help from smaller kids. In fact it’s encouraged. For instance, make it a point to give change every time your family sees those familiar bell ringers with their red kettles. Doing this each time will cause your little ones to become excited to give. Use those opportunities to start the dialog about who the money in the red kettles benefits and what a difference they are making. The Tree of Sharing is another great campaign held annually.
Children feel good knowing they are making another child’s Christmas gift wish come true. Trick or Treat for UNICEF is also a fun way for children to give back to others globally. For over 60 years UNICEF has joined little ghosts and ghouls on their journey for treats. Children simply say trick or treat for UNICEF and hold up a UNICEF print out box to hold donations. Participating in the various walks and runs for charity is a perfect way to give back in the warmer months, as well.
Make giving a part of your everyday life and it will become a part of your child’s as well.
– Amy Robinson
Sources: Giving Tuesday